California-based Mann Packing recently issued a voluntary recall of dozens of packaged vegetable products because of the potential for contamination with Listeria, a potentially dangerous foodborne bacteria.
Mann’s recall affects numerous supermarkets across the United States and Canada, including Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Meijer, Albertson’s and Safeway, and Whole Foods.
“Mann Packing is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in a statement. The statement also said that the company is cooperating with health officials in both countries.
The contamination risk was discovered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency through random sampling, according to CNN. No illnesses have been linked to the products, officials said from the company’s home base in Salinas, CA.
The affected items were listed as having “best if used by” dates from October 11 to October 20. If you have any of these items in your possession, you should either discard them or return them to the place of purchase. (For a complete list of the recalled products, please use this link.)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1,600 U.S. citizens are infected with Listeria annually, and about 260 victims die. The most common species of Listeria is called Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), which produces an illness called Listeriosis.
Listeria can infect anyone, but those most susceptible to serious complications include:
- pregnant women
- elderly people
- people with suppressed immune systems.
Expectant mothers have to be particularly vigilant about avoiding Listeria, because the bacteria can spread to the baby and result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or infection. The CDC estimates that 20 percent of pregnant women infected with Listeria will lose the fetus, and 3 percent of affected pregnancies end in stillbirth.
What are the symptoms?
The bacteria begin growing in the digestive system but can spread to affect the bloodstream, major organs, and the central nervous system. The incubation period can be from three days to two months, although symptoms – fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea – usually present within the first month.